Dr Nakhle first started by saying that the Egyptian proposal to export gas to Lebanon was not new and in fact for long has been contemplated along other projects to salvage the economic and energy situation in Lebanon but hardly any progress to date, due to various vested and conflicting interests in the country.
Commenting on the World Bank putting transparency conditions to finance this project, Dr Nakhle said that this issue should be tackled with realism. The fundamental problem in Lebanon isn’t only delimited by the economy; the lack of proper governance is a lingering factor and will not be solved overnight. By putting transparency as a prerequisite, the World Bank is putting additional pressure on the ruling class to proceed with much needed reforms.
For the way forward, Dr Nakhle affirmed that before any particular projects are proposed, Lebanon should develop clear economic and energy policies, accompanied by a serious commitment to improving governance and investment climate to regain foreign investors’ confidence, otherwise it will be hard for Lebanon to get out of its terrible muddle.
Dr Nakhle was joined by Daniel Melhem, founder and CEO at Dimtech, Laury Haytayan, MENA Director at Natural Resource Governance Institute, and Mohammed El Alfy, Economic Policy Expert.
Watch the discussion (in Arabic):
“Major Setback for Lebanon’s Oil and Gas“, Dr Carole Nakhle, May 2020
“The Resource Curse Hits Lebanon Without the Resource“, Dr Carole Nakhle, Feb 2020
“Should Lebanon still pursue its oil & gas exploration activities despite the climate change challenges“, Dr Carole Nakhle, May 2021
“From Troubled Lebanon To Become Global Energy Icon“, Dr Carole Nakhle, Jan 2021
“The Oil & Gas sector of Lebanon: What we need to know with Dr Carole Nakhle“, Dr Carole Nakhle, Oct 2020